I have been losing the ability to walk since my teens due to a rare degenerative disease called Hereditary Spastic Ataxia. I am now forty years old and walk with Canadian/forearm crutches. Since my condition is degenerative, I will soon find myself in need of a wheelchair to get around, and am currently making plans for this eventuality. After obtaining a graduate degree and working in a large university I found myself in an untenable situation. With much sadness and after a bilateral hernia operation and three broken bones resulting from falls I had to retire from a career I loved. The challenges begin before you get out the front door - living in an apartment complex which still does not provide handicap access. Iíve been fighting this battle for years now.
I have found the Americans With Disabilities Act is riddled with loopholes which make it difficult for handicapped people to contribute to Society. This is truly a Human Rights issue, requiring a complete shift in societyís thoughts regarding architecture, transportation, town planning, healthcare and compassion. Itís not only handicapped people who suffer but all of society. Handicapped people have so much to contribute, but face obstacles with every step or turn of the wheel.

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